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All back to square one
Published : 23 May 2011 08:22:09
This season race is run but it is not long till the start of the next one Mark Wilson hopes to carry on next season on the same sort of high he ended the 2010-11 one. He knows the slate will be clean for the start of the next challenge and he hopes to stay in manager Neil Lennon's plans. The former Dundee United defender has struggled to keep a regular first team place, mostly due to injuries, since joining Celtic in January 2006 but under Lennon his fortunes appear to have changed. Since the start of 2011 he has earned his first full Scotland cap and scored his first Celtic goal thanks to an extended run in the team which allowed him to show qualities previously seen only in patches. He also made a valuable contribution in the Scottish Cup final win against Motherwell at Hampden on Saturday. However, the 26-year-old is already bracing himself for a challenge to his position next season. Wilson said: "I am happy. I have been injury-free most of the season and I am glad that the manager stuck with me. He has another two top-class right-backs in Andreas Hinkel and Cha Du-ri and he stuck with me, so I'm happy with that. But there is going to be some competition next season. I don't know what is happening with Andreas in the summer but Cha is there and there is Adam Matthews coming in (from Cardiff) as well so there could be four right-backs going for the one position. I am a believer that everyone starts with a clean slate at the beginning of the season. I thought that way when I was out of the team in the last few seasons. I saw it as an opportunity to get back into the team and that's the way those boys are going to be looking at it, to get me out of the team. So it's important that I start the season well and hopefully keep my place." Wilson admits the pressure was on Celtic not to end the season without something to show for their efforts after losing out on the SPL title and the Co-operative Insurance Cup. However, he insists a Scottish Cup win was the least they deserved. Wilson said: "There is always pressure on Celtic going into any cup final but especially yesterday because we did lose the two other trophies at the final hurdle. "So it was important that we won. We deserved more than we got this season, although in saying that Rangers won the league fair and square. But the cup win was a good reward, and especially good for the manager to get the first trophy under his belt. The fans have been with us all season and after the send-off they gave us after the last SPL game last week it would have been disappointing to lose this game. So we were very happy that we got the goals that killed Motherwell off. I would much prefer to win the league but it's always good on the last day of the season to win the cup. Every player in Scotland wants to be there so to win it was fantastic and it has been a fantastic season."